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Dan Brouillette sworn in as DOE deputy secretary

Dan Brouillette has been sworn in as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, the agency said in an Aug. 8 news release.

Brouillette most recently served as senior vice president and head of public policy for USAA Insurance Group and was a vice president at Ford Motor Co., where he managed the automaker's domestic policy teams. Brouillette also has experience within the federal government and Congress, having served as chief of staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He was also assistant secretary of energy for congressional and intergovernmental affairs under former President George W. Bush.

In June, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee cleared Brouillette's nomination by 17-6, a stronger margin than some of President Donald Trump's more controversial nominees. On Aug. 3, the Senate voted 79-17 to confirm his nomination.

"Dan Brouillette's extensive experience and knowledge from working in both the public and private sectors make him a great fit for DOE," Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in a statement.

The DOE has been facing scrutiny on several fronts, including Trump's proposed funding cuts to the agency's energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Money for the DOE's fossil energy research and development work would also see a sharp decline under Trump's budget proposal, and funding would be eliminated for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, known as ARPA-E.

Additionally, the DOE has yet to release a controversial grid study ordered by Perry that critics say favors baseload power plants, such as coal and nuclear, and undermines renewable energy.